Chase Iron Eyes: Battle of the Little Big Horn still relevant today

"Today is the day that we celebrate victory at the Greasy Grass, aka “Battle of the Little Big Horn.” It seems long ago but 136 years ago is only 24 years prior to my grandfather’s birth, for perspective. Additionally we are oral historians and that means the memories of our ancestors are never distant but are alive and well in the fire of our minds. This battle, and the “beginning of the end of our buffalo days” that followed, is still passed on in various families and traditions that keep our generations stable in their survival story and identities.

In order to understand the battle, one must understand why we were out in some of our favorite hunting grounds in larger than normal numbers. Here is a simple timeline that will provide back drop:

1868 – Fort Laramie Treaty between the United States and the Great Sioux Nation (Sioux reserve the Black Hills unto themselves).

1871 - End of the treaty making era among the United States and all Native Nations.

1874 – Gen. Custer leads an illegal expedition into the Black Hills and discovers gold, pressure mount for the U.S. to do something to open the Black Hills for exploitation.

1875- U.S. orders all Indians not on reservations to return to said agencies or be considered “hostile.”

1876 - Battle of the Little Big Horn. After Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho victory, principal Sioux leaders forced to seek refuge away from their former territory."

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Chase Iron Eyes: The Battle of the Little Bighorn is Still Relevant (The Last Real Indians 6/25)

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